DUBAI: A piece of the Eiffel Tower’s staircase is now on display at Expo 2020 Dubai, thanks to Japanese Samurai woman Machiko Gozen. A ribbon cutting ceremony took place on Feb. 18 to officially introduce the historic piece to the public.
Gozen also owns the French tea house Janat Paris, a business venture passed on to her due to her family history of growing green tea plantations, which is how she came to taking over the French brand. The 13th generation Samurai woman said French tea merchant Janat Dores’ family imported and exported tea from them, and therefore created a connection between the two families.
Dores worked with Gustave Eiffel and helped develop one of the many wonders of the world: the Eiffel Tower. That is how a piece of the Eiffel Tower became part of Gozen’s legacy.
The Eiffel Tower Project at Expo 2020 Dubai is intended to celebrate and honor the memory of the renowned Emirati national treasure, Mohammad Saleh Al Gurg, veteran poet, author and philosopher.
“We wish to honor the visionary leaders of the UAE who made this impossible project possible” Gozen said.
She explained that the Eiffel Tower was a piece of the past from Paris, brought to the future at Expo 2020 Dubai. “Women are rising faster than men, and I believe in women empowerment. So the rising of the Eiffel Tower reminds me much of the rising women in our world today,” she told Arab News Japan.
The staircase was originally located between the second and third floor of the Eiffel Tower and was part of the landmark when it first opened at the 1889 Paris World Expo.
The stairs were replaced with a lift four years later, but now Dubai Expo visitors can climb the original staircase in 2022.
At the ribbon-cutting event, Consul-General of France in Dubai Nathalie Kennedy, Dubai Cares CEO Tariq Al Gurg, Secretary General of the Japan Pavilion Yabunaka Aiko, Dubai Expo’s Chief Development and Delivery Officer Ahmed Al Khatib, Janat Paris’ Business Partner Bejit Dores and Gozen were present.
“I’m feeling so emotional and honored to have a piece of the Eiffel Tower right next to the Al Wasl Dome [at Expo 2020 Dubai]. It is very symbolic of travel, discovery, innovation and universal values that are at stake today,” Kennedy said.
Al Gurg presented a picture of his father on the Eiffel Tower with his best friend in 1964. “My father loves France. He bought a place there in the 1980s, which is where he started, sitting on the balcony working on his poetry and articles,” he said.
The staircase will be on display near the Japan Pavilion until Expo 2020 Dubai officially ends on March 31.